5D4N Taiwan 2016: From city to farm

Oh hey there! Have you been camping for my Taiwan post? Not to toot my own horn but this post is gonna be epic. Not only is it going to be image heavy (Taiwan is beautiful!) but information heavy as well. I’ll be sharing where I stayed, where I traveled to and what I ate! Just to give you some context before you dive right in, this was the first properly self-planned trip I’ve been on and I’m very happy to share that the journey was incredibly seamless (minus some minor hiccups here and there. those are inevitable though!). The accommodation was ON POINT. It’s pretty amazing what kind of results you garner from just putting in the extra effort. But I shan’t drag this intro any longer. Read on and enjoy!taipei-2016-5Adele and I flew Tiger Air. Thank goodness the flight wasn’t that long and that I slept most of the way there because damnnnnn, them seats were hella uncomfortable. We arrived safely at Taoyuan International Airport and were greeted by the driver whom our Airbnb host, Simon, helped arrange to fetch us to the apartment for a reasonable fee of NT1000 (SGD44.8). Don’t worry, I’ll come back to my full Airbnb experience later on. Patience, my friends! Hehe.

Got to the apartment, met up with Simon, dropped our baggage off and went to explore a nearby mall before coming back to freshen up and head out again. The place was still being cleaned as we reached earlier than the allocated check-in time. Simon was really accommodating though! But here came the tricky part. We were to checkout the next morning and head straight to Cing Jing Farm so we packed what we needed for that one night on the farm, and dragged the rest of our stuff to deposit at the hotel (Check Inn – more about this later) we would be coming back to stay at for the last two nights. Complicated stuff. But oh well, fun experience!

Our two destinations for the rest of the evening were Wufenpu, one of Taipei’s famous wholesale shopping districts and Raohe Night Market, a food haven just a stone’s throw away from Wufenpu! Convenient much? The shopping, in comparison with BKK, can’t win in terms of variety and pricing but we still managed to get a few pieces we loved. I would say I got more ‘statement’ pieces than daily-wear typed clothing. Food we munched on for the night were the famous (we only found out from Adele’s friend that this shop was the most famous in the area) Formosa Chang Lu Rou Fan (鬍鬚張魯肉飯), baked potato with bacon and LOTS of cheese (omg miss this so badly), scallops and the famous chicken cutlet! taipei-2016Before heading to Taiwan, I checked the weather forecast and it told me that Taipei would be nice and cooling during end-October. I was so happy! Packed different types of outfits just because I was able to play with the layering technique. But when we got there, it was equally as hot as Singapore. Okay I exaggerate. It was SLIGHTLY, just slightly, better that Singapore. We were so bummed! And feeling so hot as well. Poop. I would advise you guys to go later on in the year so you don’t find yourself in this similar situation.

Moving on to my amazing Airbnb experience. Now I’ve always wanted to try Airbnb and have been hyping over this to my friend who works there, so when I managed to find the perfect apartment for our first night in the city I grabbed it and never looked back! Below you’ll see photos of the place (this will be included in my travel video. yes, something else awaits!) and the reviews we (myself and the host) left for each other. I found this place charming and heheh self five as it turned out to be a dream. The listing is here. The host’s name is stated as ‘Vincent’ (and all the earlier correspondence was with Vincent) but Simon hosted us for our entire stay, probably because it’s a partnership or something. Make sure you let him know you’re ‘Christy’s friend’ so he will take extra care of you! And no, this wasn’t sponsored though I wish it was! It was SGD50+ per person for a night – WHATTA STEAL!!!

Though we arranged to only stay here for a night, Simon stayed connected with us through Whatsapp throughout our entire trip. Feeding us with information about popular haunts for young people, ice cream parlours, steamboat restaurants and even local bus routes, he was super sweet and helpful! If you’re headed to Taipei, please please give him a shout. I highly recommend staying at his place. Check out what it looked like below!32I’ll most probably be staying with Airbnb again on my next trip because it was just that easy to use. Also helped that I could bug my friend la but yea you know what I mean! The app also shows you different reviews from previous guests at each listing and hosts can earn badges to prove their credibility! Again, this is not an ad – I just really love Airbnb. LOL! Join through this link and immediately get $40 Travel Credit! 

Went to bed late and woke up early – what a stupid mistake. Haha don’t do that. You’d miss a bus – which we ended up doing. Bleh! But no worries, there were so many buses available with really short intervals between arrivals so we got ourselves settled on the right bus in no time. Our host mentioned that we were pretty adventurous to be taking public buses to the farm but I mean, life’s too short to hire a private car and miss out on authentic local life right? Heh. Say yes to adventure and trying new things! (I can literally hear my bf cheering at this statement haha)taipei-2016-1Time for some photo spam of the farm and the hotel we stayed at! This was the perfect break from the hustle and bustle of city and working life!dscf9313 dscf9318We stayed a night at Cing Jing Hanging Garden & Resort, a little lesser than SGD90 per person for a night! Pretty reasonable I would say. The view was spectacular + we even had time for High Tea at the popular Old England Manor for about SGD25 per person. Say whuttttt? That’s like half the price of the high tea sets in Singapore?! Pfft. We spent more time taking in the view than snapping photos (which is a good thing). Sometimes we just need to disconnect to reconnect.dscf9364 dscf9365

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dscf9328dscf9382Unfortunately, we got to the sheep farm but the sheep were so far away (and we got there a tad too late to watch the shearing) we just ended up exploring the grounds and taking more photos. Lol was quite a failed trip there but the hotel and nature made up for it, that’s for sure! Quite bummed I forgot to take a photo of our room. It had THE softest homely beds ever!! The quilt was even embroidered with the name of the hotel, heh!

Woke up the next day and took a bus to Taichung and then a bullet train (SGD $30+) straight to Taipei this time. Was unplanned but heck, why not! The train was just like any other train (lol yes I was like omg ‘Train to Busan’ mode, ON!) so photos didn’t make it to this post. Got back and checked into our hotel – Check Inn. Two nights for NT7000, that being SGD$156+ per person for two nights! Not too bad as well! Plus, the mrt exit is literally right next door?!?! WIN. Here are a couple photos of the room, dining area and breakfast spread. taipei-2016-3Once settled, we headed out to yet another popular shopping area in Taipei – Ximending! I remember I visited this place with my family when I was much younger and it seemed a little more fun then. Perhaps I’ve just become really boring HAHAHA Adele and I focused a lot on food gobbling. We tried this cheese+mayo oyster thing and it was like the best thing I’ve ever tasted. Not even kidding. Oh mannnnn typing about this now makes my mouth water. Ugh! Aside from food, we also got ourselves fake tattoos. How random and silly of us! But it made us laugh wahahah.taipei-2016-2

For the last full day in Taipei, we spent it visiting Jiufen and Shifen. Jiufen, I had been to with my family so I was there just for food. Shifen, on the other hand, was a new spot to explore. We even scribbled our wishes on a lantern and watched it float into the sky – how dramatic and touristy LOL but again, all in good fun! Didn’t manage to take too many photos as I was too busy stuffing my face with scrumptious food but here are some photos just to give you a gist of what it was like!taipei-2016-4You’ll never catch me in the colour brown. I just don’t like it very much haha but I guess traveling makes you want to try new things! If you’re wondering how much I exchanged for the trip, I brought about SGD750 (inclusive of one last $150+ payment for the hotel). Taiwan is relatively inexpensive so I wouldn’t be too worried.

I hope this post was informative and an enjoyable read! It took a lot of hard work to complete it. FYI I type like how I would talk so I guess that should make me more personable! If you’re headed to Taiwan soon, make sure you check out Airbnb I stayed at or the hotel. Either one would be a great addition to your plans – I guarantee. Or if your family members/colleagues/friends are thinking of flying there, you know what blog post to share with them right? HEHEHE.

Thanks for reading! Love y’all!

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Silver Outerwear: The Editor’s Market

Pastel Purple Dress: Oh My Tian

Hoodie & Cap: Anti Social Social Club

Jeggings: UNIQLO

Brown Outerwear: Betty Barclay

Green Velvet Dress: Ezbuy.sg

Grey Slouchy Tee: Cotton On

White Ripped Jeans: Soeurs.co

Hair: Hair By Xavier Leong

Bags: Shop Kysse

Lenses: Jounlens

Shoes: Nike

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All photos taken with the Fujifilm X-T1 with no edits (Thanks Kor for lending it to me for my trips!)

 

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